May 25, 2005

Found some BCN/Spain websites

May 8, 2005

April's Update:Camino de Santiago and more!

May 6, 2005
Dearest Friends, Family, and Rotarians,

Ten months ago today, Burak and I left the US. We have since lived in Turkey for two months and Spain for eight months. With just 3 months until we have to fly back to D.C., I am trying to pump myself up for returning while continuing to make the most of every minute over here.

In summation of April, I think I did a good job of seizing the moment. I visited Andalusia (southern Spain) and went to La Feria in Seville, spoke to 8 Rotary clubs, subbed high school for a week, hosted 8 people, and walked 120 km of the Camino de Santiago.

Furthermore, I am continuously organizing the Americans for Informed Democracy conference and Martinez Foundation Fundraising Dinner both being held in June in Barcelona.

For more details and photos, continue below, and check out my website at:

The Full Update:

On the 2nd, Burak and I held one of our monthly parties. This time we had my Belgian host brother and his girlfriend visiting. We also had two Rotary Ambassadorial Scholars (one living in Basque country and the other living in Italy). That night we learned that the Pope died. It was a sad and historical moment.

That Monday, I had a full Rotary schedule with a speech to Rotary Club Barcelona Europa and my club, RC BCN Millennium. It was fun but draining to public speak in Spanish at both meetings. I think it is sort of funny how I am not scared to speak publicly in a foreign language. I guess I have had a lot of training.

On the 6th, I was asked to speak at Burak’s high school’s Career Day regarding International Relations careers. I was happy to speak about something I enjoy even though I honestly think I have more to learn and do before I can be an expert on the subject. Within that day alone, I found two speakers for my June Americans for Informed Democracy conference. One of those speakers is the Consul General for the US in Barcelona and the other is a Human Rights Officer for the UN in Geneva. I guess when you give, you receive.

On the 8th, Burak and I went to the director of his school’s party. It started at 4pm. I really thought that was a typo because parties don’t start that early over here. It wasn’t. We didn’t leave until 1am or so. I think it is funny how I am at a point in life when I realize the teachers I always looked up to (and still do), are now in my peer group. I am even a high school substitute teacher. It is a weird moment in life when you realize you can be a HS teacher.

So quite tired the morning after the party, we hosted 3 Fuqua (Duke’s Business School) students/alumni at our house for tea and snacks. Two were studying here on a term abroad and one has been living here for a while. We chatted about the school, life in Durham, and job prospects. Only at the end of the time did we realize we had met one of them before on our visit last year to Duke. He was from Brazil and we learned he was friends with our Brazilian friend that hosted us at Duke last May. He was also the person that organized the Brazilian music at the Fuqua Friday event we attended. No wonder he looked so familiar!

That same Saturday, a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar (Pam) arrived while she was on her way back to Spain from a Europe trip before returning to the States. I coordinated a Rotary Scholar Tapas Dinner with the 2 other scholars in town and we all had a blast.

Later that same day, Sabi, arrived. He was an exchange student to El Paso the same year Burak was there and lived with the same host family as Burak. Sabi stayed with us for 10 days and the guys had a lot of beer and catching up to do.

On the 11th, I spoke to Rotary Club Barcelona ’92. They were really nice. It was a little intimidating walking into a meeting speaking to a group of men in my 2nd language, but I am getting used to that as well. They asked me some tough
questions. One was something regarding ‘what do you think about governments that adhere strictly to one religion?’. For example, Spain has had a strong tie to the Catholic church for a long time and has recently had more of a separation between the church and state. I told them that after living in five countries, I like the separation of church and state as seen in the US and I also like having a Christian ideology from our Founders. As a woman in Turkey, although the government is secular, it was difficult because their predominant religion of the country affects the culture heavily which affects the government. Trying to be diplomatic in a foreign language is a skill I am still perfecting.

The next day, I flew to Malaga in the wee hours of the morning (southern Spain) and was picked up my a scholar, Christanne, and her dad at the airport. We then drove to Granada to see the Alhambra, a well preserved, old Moorish-style fortress. For a late lunch we met up with Pam and the other Granada Rotary scholars. We then drove on to Seville where we would stay for the week to enjoy the annual Feria de Abril.
The Feria de Abril is a weeklong party in Seville where the town dresses up in flamenco dresses and traditional suits and drinks and dances until dawn. This is considered a nice break after the seriousness of the Easter week which is just a few weeks before the fair. I arrived with no fancy dress, but within no time, with lots of help from scholars and host moms, I looked the part as I pretended to dance the Sevillano.

Organizations, clubs, and companies sponsor these temporary restaurant/bar tents called ‘casetas.’ There are about 1,100 casetas in the fair park and in most cases you can only enter if you are a member or have tickets. At the height of the event, there are 2 million people at the fair.

Christanne, is a Rotary scholar in Seville, and had tickets to the Rotary caseta all week. We would arrive in the afternoon and not leave until the early morning. It was a tough schedule and I had to keep telling myself ‘you don’t get this chance very often in life’ so that I would keep up the pace. In the process, I presented the South Austin Texas Rotary banner to the Seville club and had a great time chatting with the Seville members.

In between going to the fair, I also went to an Arab bath and saw the Cathedral. The Cathedral in Seville made my mouth drop when I walked in (and I have seen a lot of cathedrals!). It is largest Gothic church in the world and the third largest church in general after St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome and St. Paul’s in London. It is said to hold the tomb of Christopher Columbus. The Arab bath was fun but a little disappointing after being in a real thing in Turkey. They ultimately recreated an Arab looking bath area and put in a variety of pools with various temperatures. My favorite was what they called the ‘Bano Turko’ which is a ‘Hamam’ in Turkish for bath. But really that bath was just like my wet vapor sauna in my local gym. It was exotic and I had a nice massage at the end. It also made me wonder if North Carolina would appreciate a ‘Hamam’?

Later in the week, a few of my Rotary club members from Barcelona planned to visit for the celebration as well. We had a lot of fun together when they arrived. After going to the fair on Friday afternoon, I returned home on Saturday around 5am, woke up at 8am, panicked, ran out the door with most of my luggage, and made my 8:55am flight to Barcelona. I want to blame my Rotary members for keeping me out so late, but I think it might have been my fault. :)

On the 17th, while our Hungarian friend was still here, we had a friend that I met in the Krakow airport visit me for 24 hours. She is an American studying in England and was on her way from Italy to Spain.

From the 18th to the 22nd, I subbed high school algebra, chemistry, and was a study hall monitor. Considering my last complete math and science class was my junior year of high school, I had to read up a bit on what I was supposed to ‘teach’. In the end, I let them do a lot of independent review of the material. They were fun, but really I don’t know what is harder to manage four-year olds or 14-year olds!
The week I subbed from 8:30 to 4:00pm all week, I was also teaching my adult class twice a week, my kids class twice a week, welcomed three new guests after seeing two leave, and also saw Burak leave to Rome.

On the 19th, I welcomed another American I met in the Krakow airport and two Belgian exchange students for the weekend. I gave them a brief tour since I was going to be busy all week and really didn’t hang out with them until Friday night when I made a tapas dinner for them.

On the 21st, I spoke to RC BCN Centre. The language of the club is Catalan, but occasionally they would switch over to Spanish for me. They were really nice and we had a great discussion. Around 11:45pm at the end of the dinner, the discussion turned to the topic of Socrates. I figured it was too late to listen to a philosophical discussion in Catalan regarding Socrates so I excused myself since I still had to give up early to work the next day.

At the end of the week I couldn’t do anything else. I was TIRED. So I went to the beach with my two Belgian exchange students and we just chilled out and got some sun while talking about the fun and silly experiences of living in Belgium. We carried on a conversation in a mix between French and English since we had all lived in Belgium.

On Sunday the 24th, all the guests left and Burak returned from Rome that afternoon. Minus the Americans for Informed Democracy planning meeting I held that evening, I tried to spend all my time with Burak before leaving him for another week the next morning.

Monday the 25th of April, I flew to La Coruna with just my backpack. From La Coruna I took a train to Santiago de Compostela where I got settled into my hostel and wondered around the small town on my own. That night I spoke to the Rotary Club Santiago. Because of a local holiday, there were only 3 members attending. I decided to forgo the formal presentation and just gave them some highlights of my speech continued by a discussion. I will see some of them again at the District conference in Segovia May 20-22.

The next morning, Christanne (my travel buddy) flew in from Seville. The plan was for her to land at 8:25am, catch the 8:30am airport bus, and rendezvous at the Santiago train station for a 9:04am train to a town where we could take a bus to the start of our Camino de Santiago. When I got the text that she had made it on the bus from the airport, I was ecstatic because our crazy plan was going to work. We had to catch this 9:04am train or we would lose the day to travel because the next train was at 4pm.

The Camino de Santiago has a long history. Basically the remains of James or St. James are said to be in the Cathedral of Santiago. The name Santiago comes from ‘Sant’ and ‘Iago.’ ‘Sant’ is for saint and ‘Iago’ is from Hebrew’s Yaacob. (‘Yaacob’ in Hebrew, ‘Jacobus’ in Latin, ‘Jacques’ in French, and ‘James’ in English)
For more history:
Back to our travels on Tuesday: We arrived at the free hostel in Sarria for pilgrims but to be able to stay we had to have walked at least 10-11km. So we had planned to do this already but we decided to start the Camino from Samos which was just 10-11 km away from the hostel. We had to take a taxi there so we wouldn’t waste time waiting for a bus and would be able to still get a spot in the hostel. After a plane, a train, a bus, and a taxi, we finally got to a small town with a monastery, Samos, where we could commence our 120 km Camino. Whew!

As we watched the territory the taxi drove by, we got a little scared to think we were going to have to WALK that distance back. When we arrived, we slammed the taxi doors, said ‘thanks,’ and proceeded to check out the monastery. What we quickly realized was that at 2pm, the monastery and almost everything else in the town was closed until 4:30pm. Then the worry was how to obtain a stamp or a ‘sello’ on our little Camino passport to have proof we had been to Samos while all was closed.
We asked a restaurant lady and she told us to go to the monastery because maybe the hostel would be open. We quickly got excited and walked over there but found the hostel open without anyone supervising it. Then I saw one person working, the gas attendant, and I asked him when the hostel person would return so we could get our stamps. He said the magic words, ‘ I have the stamp.’ I wanted to kiss him. We were so excited we got our stamps and then I took a picture with him. He felt like a king for being of such importance to us and had a grin from side to side. We had our first stamp and even if we couldn’t see the monastery, we had begun our Camino!

I can’t put into words my experience for the next 5 days where Christanne and I covered 120 km (74.4 miles) in 32 hours and 30 minutes of continuous walking. We stayed for free each night in pilgrims’ hostels. We woke up at 5:30am to start at 6am and walk the 18-27 km for the day usually reaching our destination town between 2 and 4pm. We would shower and change into our clean set of clothes at the arrival of the new hostel. We would then shop for dinner for the night and also breakfast and lunch for the next day. We ate dinner at 6pm and were sleeping by 10pm. We met some really amazing and interesting people and also a couple of really weird characters. I felt like I was on my modern-day Canterbury Tales with various pilgrim characters with peculiar stories.

We would often only see towns with stores at our destination towns and wouldn’t see stoplights, street signs, nor anything of that sort during our walks. We often walked into a village and had a cow or two standing in the middle of our Camino. We almost got ran over by cows during our lunch in a small field. We crossed over flowing creeks and I almost fell because I was balancing my weight and the weight of my backpack (10 kilos/22.2 lbs) on one rock while trying to find the best place to put my next step.

In the end, I learned that I could walk 120 km in 5.5 days with a heavy backpack up and down hills, through creeks, and in the hot sun and rain. I had time to be introspective at a point where I have only three months before I return to my home country again and start a new stage in my life. I learned the joys of not checking my email everyday and not being in contact with the rest of the world. I learned how eating should be about fueling your body. I learned I could walk 4 hours without stopping. I confirmed my belief I have a small bladder. I took joy in finding toilet paper in hostels and café bathrooms. I saw the value of not having much because it would weigh you down on your walk and it is the same in life (I have storages in MD/VA/TX).

I saw a lot of analogies for life on my way as well. Once we entered a part of the Camino that crossed by a creek. On the left side, I saw stone steps that would keep us off of the mud and water. On the right side, I saw these twigs in the mud and I thought why where they there if there are stones to cross on the left? Then I followed the stones on the left with my eyes and realized they only led halfway down the watered path. The least likely path, the one with the twigs in the mud, was the right path because after the twigs, there were stones that led you to the other side of the creek. Ultimately, it made me think that sometimes the most ‘obvious’ path might not be the right one and sometimes rocky and unusual routes at the beginning can still lead you to where you want to go.

We arrived in Santiago on Sunday, May 1st and celebrated with fellow pilgrims that night. On Monday morning I flew back to Barcelona. While I waited for the plane in La Coruna I walked in the airport parking lot because I missed the Camino. That night I spoke to a Rotary club in Sabadell, just 40 min from my place. I managed to pull off a decent presentation even though I was ready to go to sleep when they started eating. Well, more about that all later.

May’s events will include:

- Rotary speeches to more clubs in the Barcelona area
- Welcoming my brother and sister from the States to BCN for a visit
- Going to Burak’s high school’s prom ( :) )
- Hosting 5 guests from USA and Belgium
- Speaking at the Rotary District (2210) Conference regarding my scholarship and experiences

Hope all is well, take care of yourself, and keep in touch.

Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar 2004-2005
Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

An Afghan killing commanded by tradition

Adultery case shows challenge of modern law coming to tribal lands

May 5, 2005

Gore to receive Internet lifetime achievement award

He really did have something to do with it.....for more

Oldest living 'Oz' munchkin tells all

Check out this link

May 4, 2005

What is your Temperament? I am an Idealist Teacher

Here is a very interesting link. This test is a Temperament Indicator. You'll have to create a login (just takes 3-4 min). On the basis of your answers to certain questions, your temperament will be classified in one of the four categories -

1. Artisans value freedom and spontaneity. They want to be without constraint, at liberty to act on their impulses, play, and create.
2. Guardians value belonging to a group or community. They maintain stability through responsible, conservative, traditional behavior.
3. Idealists value personal growth, authenticity, and integrity. They yearn to develop themselves fully as individuals and to facilitate growth in others.
4. Rationals value competence and intelligence. They strive to learn, know, predict, and control the resources in their environment.

Check out a matrix classification of temperaments of some world-renowned personalities to get a better understanding.
I have been branded as an idealist ;-)

Here are some snippets from my reading -
• Idealists strive to discover who they are and how they can become their best possible self. This quest for self-knowledge and self-improvement drives their imagination.
• Idealists are gifted at helping others find their way in life, often inspiring them to grow as individuals and to fulfill their potentials.
• Idealists are incurable romantics. They believe that life is filled with possibilities waiting to be realized, rich with meanings calling out to be understood.
• Highly ethical in their actions, Idealists hold themselves to a strict standard of personal integrity. They must be true to themselves and to others, and they can be quite hard on themselves when they are dishonest, or when they are false or insincere.
• Idealists cherish a few warm, sensitive friendships; in marriage they wish to find a "soulmate," someone with whom they can bond emotionally and spiritually, sharing their deepest feelings and their complex inner worlds.
More general stuff on idealists can be found here.
Now, within also idealists there are four classifications.
1. Healer 2. Counselor 3. Teacher 4. Champion.

To know which one of those do I fall under, I’ll have to pay for a report but this website URL completes the missing link.

My type is the *Teacher* Idealists. (they are also called the ENFJ types - Extroverted Intuitive Feeling Judging

More of my info:
Your Type is
Extroverted Intuitive Feeling Judging
Strength of the preferences %
56 50 25 22

ENFJ type description by D.Keirsey
ENFJ type description by J. Butt

Qualitative analysis of your type formula

You are:
moderately expressed extrovert

moderately expressed intuitive personality

moderately expressed feeling personality

slightly expressed judging personality

The Idealists called Teachers are abstract in their thought and speech, cooperative in their style of achieving goals, and directive and extraverted in their interpersonal relations. Learning in the young has to be beckoned forth, teased out from its hiding place, or, as suggested by the word "education," it has to be "educed." by an individual with educative capabilities. Such a one is the eNFj, thus rightly called the educative mentor or Teacher for short. The Teacher is especially capable of educing or calling forth those inner potentials each learner possesses. Even as children the Teachers may attract a gathering of other children ready to follow their lead in play or work. And they lead without seeming to do so.

Teachers expect the very best of those around them, and this expectation, usually expressed as enthusiastic encouragement, motivates action in others and the desire to live up to their expectations. Teachers have the charming characteristic of taking for granted that their expectations will be met, their implicit commands obeyed, never doubting that people will want to do what they suggest. And, more often than not, people do, because this type has extraordinary charisma.

The Teachers are found in no more than 2 or 3 percent of the population. They like to have things settled and arranged. They prefer to plan both work and social engagements ahead of time and tend to be absolutely reliable in honoring these commitments. At the same time, Teachers are very much at home in complex situations which require the juggling of much data with little pre-planning. An experienced Teacher group leader can dream up, effortlessly, and almost endlessly, activities for groups to engage in, and stimulating roles for members of the group to play. In some Teachers, inspired by the responsiveness of their students or followers, this can amount to genius which other types find hard to emulate. Such ability to preside without planning reminds us somewhat of an Provider, but the latter acts more as a master of ceremonies than as a leader of groups. Providers are natural hosts and hostesses, making sure that each guest is well looked after at social gatherings, or that the right things are expressed on traditional occasions, such as weddings, funerals, graduations, and the like. In much the same way, Teachers value harmonious human relations about all else, can handle people with charm and concern, and are usually popular wherever they are. But Teachers are not so much social as educational leaders, interested primarily in the personal growth and development of others, and less in attending to their social needs.

Mikhail Gorbachev is an example of a Teacher Idealist.

Life beyond terror.....

I have been traveling a lot, meeting many people, and within one month (Apr 4 to May 2) spoke to 8 Rotary clubs. At one club, I remember the topic of Sept 11th, American Foreign Policy, and the War on Terror being discussed.

The Rotarian mentioned that other countries have had terror and had many years of it. Europe has thousands of years of history and the US is a little baby of 200 plus years. Her point was that in that naivete, we are focusing our energies on what we perceive to be our largest problem when in fact, there are others and it isn't a new concept.

This is just a short thought but I was reminded of it when I was reading the article below when it mentions the approach between two heads of state, Bush and Hu (China). Bush was terror focused and Hu addressed many concerns of the people.

From Fareed Zakaria's article on China:

In November 2004, President George W. Bush and China's President Hu Jintao traveled through Asia. I was in the region a few weeks afterward and was struck by how almost everyone I spoke with rated Hu's visits as far more successful than Bush's. Karim Raslan, a Malaysian writer, explained: "Bush talked obsessively about terror. He sees all of us through that one prism. Yes, we worry about terror, but frankly that's not the sum of our lives. We have many other problems. We're retooling our economies, we're wondering how to deal with the rise of China, we're trying to address health, social and environmental problems. Hu talked about all this; he talked about our agenda, not just his agenda." From Indonesia to Brazil, China is winning new friends.

May 3, 2005

Even more Camino history...

Although there is no reference in apostolic times to the evangelisation of Spain by James, there is evidence in the 6th, 7th and 8th centuries of a tradition that James did preach the Gospel there.
Confirmation of the tradition was seen in the miraculous discovery of his tomb early in the 9th century. A hermit named Pelayo claimed to have received an angelic revelation that St James was buried on the hill where the city of Compostella now stands and to have seen a bright star shining over it.

He informed the local bishop, Theodomir of Iria Flavia (now Padron), who went to the spot indicated by the star and discovered an ancient tomb and declared that it was that of the Apostle.

The discovery was reported to the Pope (Leo III), who proclaimed it to the whole Christian world. A church was built over the tomb by King Alfonso II of Asturias (which then included Leon and Galicia), and pilgrims began to flock to the shrine. Later a grander one, which became a cathedral, replaced the original modest church when the episcopal see was moved from Fria Flavia to Compostella.

To explain the presence of the saint's tomb in Galicia a legend grew up that after his return to Palestine from his evangelising mission in Spain and his execution by Herod (Acts 12,2).

His disciples recovered his body, took it down to the coast, from which, with the saint's body, they were miraculously transported in an unmanned boat to the Galician coast at what is now Padron.

Thereafter the numbers of pilgrims making their way from all over Christendom to St James's shrine at Compostella continued to increase. In course of time numbers of religious houses providing accommodation for pilgrims were built along the route, roads were improved and bridges were built to ease the pilgrims' journey.

As a result there came into being a recognised pilgrim road along northern Spain from the Pyrenees to Compostella, known as the Camino de Santiago (Way of St James), or Camino Francs (French Road) since it was travelled by pilgrims coming from or through France. Within France too there were particularly favoured routes along which pilgrims travelled from different parts of France and other countries in Europe to join the French Road in Spain.

The 'Pilgrim's Guide' was written in the 12th century, probably around 1140-50. It is the earliest of the many descriptions that have come down to us of the pilgrimage to the shrine of St James. Unlike other accounts, however, it is not primarily a description of one particular pilgrim's journey-though it is clearly based on personal experience and is strongly imbued with the author's feelings and prejudices-but is designed to help prospective pilgrims with advice and guidance for their journey.

The 'Guide' is contained in a 12th century Latin manuscript known as the Codex Calixtinus, after an apocryphal letter attributed to Pope Calixtus or Callistus II (d.1124) which serves as a kind of preface, or more familiarly as the 'Book of St James' (Liber Sancti Jacobi).

This was a compilation evidently designed to promote the pilgrimage to Compostella, no doubt under the influence of Diego Glimmers bishop of Compostella from 1100, Archbishop from 1120), an energetic and ambitious prelate who actively promoted the development of the pilgrimage, the building of the new cathedral which had been begun by his predecessor Diego Peels, and the enhancement of Compostella's (and his own) status.

There are four versions of the Codex Calixtinus, the finest of which is preserved in the archives of Santiago Cathedral. It consists of five books, of different origins and dates.

The first and longest of the books is an anthology of hymns, sermons and liturgical writings in honour of St James.

The second is a collection of miracles attributed to the saint, most of them fairly recent (i.e. dating from the early years of the 12th century).

The third is an account of the evangelisation of Spain by St James, his martyrdom and the transfer of his remains from Jerusalem to Compostella.

The fourth is devoted to the History of Charlemagne and Roland, the story (attributed to Charlemagne's warlike Archbishop Turpin) of Charlemagne's legendary expeditions into Spain, linking the epic of the Emperor and his paladins with the story of St James and the pilgrimage to Compostella; and the fifth consists of the 'Pilgrim's Guide'.

In the manuscript preserved in Santiago the history of Charlemagne and Roland was detached and bound separately in the 18th century, so that in this text the 'Guide' is described as the fourth book.

Although generally dated to around 1140-50, the 'Pilgrim's Guide' appears to be a compilation including work by more than one hand, written at different dates. Its author or compiler is not positively known, but the work is commonly attributed to one Aimery (Aymericus) Picaud, a cleric from Parthenay-Ae-Vieux in Poitou, who may have travelled to Compostella in the retinue of a noble lady named Gerberga or Gebirga.

Certainly the author seems to have been a Frenchman, writing his guide in Latin-primarily for the benefit of French pilgrims; and the text of the Guide reflects the strong local patriotism of a native of Poitou and his distaste for the manners and customs of practically all the other peoples encountered on the road to Compostella. He may or may not have been the same person as one Aymericus who was a papal chancellor in the mid 12th century. To give greater authority to the 'Guide' certain chapters are specifically attributed to Pope Callistus, Aimery or Aimery the Chancellor.

The Guide is divided into eleven chapters, the longest of which are the seventh, eighth and ninth, devoted respectively to the characteristics of the countries and the peoples on the road to Compostella, the shrines to be visited on the way (particularly in France, with a long excursus on the life and passion of St Eutrope of Saintes) and a description of the town and cathedral of Compostella. The exact route is outlined in two shorter chapters, the second and the third.

The second chapter of the Guide divides the journey to Santiago from the French frontier into thirteen stages. The rationale of this subdivision is not clear. It appears to imply that each stage represents a day's journey.

But it seems unlikely that even a well mounted group of pilgrims-with which the author of the Guide must be presumed to have travelled, though only two of the stages are specifically described as being done on horseback-could complete a journey of between 440 and 490 miles, with stages of up to 60 miles, in only thirteen days.

A modern pilgrim took twenty-three riding days for the journey, with a maximum day's journey of 30 miles and an average speed over the whole distance of just under 3/2 miles an hour. Is it possible that the author of the Guide mentions only staging-points which he is anxious to recommend because at these places there were religious houses or hospices run by a religious order with which he had affiliations (perhaps the Clunic order which played a major part in organising the pilgrim route and is particularly mentioned in the Guide.

More Camino History.....

The guide is a translation from Spanish of the work of Elias Valifla Sampedro (1929-1989), who was parish priest of 0 Cebreiro and Doctor of Canon Law of the University of Salamanca, a Scholar and an expert on Compostelan studies. The priest devoted his life to the study of the pilgrimage to Compostela and this is reflected in his book.
This new Pilgrim's Guide incorporates the results of thirty years of research and of countless personal journeys along the Camino de Santiago. The maps, drawn to scale, are a clear expression of the current situation of the Camino. The format of the Guide and the organisation of its contents are the results of the desire to meet several objectives. The material is divided into four parts: a preliminary section and three others: the guide to the route, with maps, directions for the walker and a succinct commentary; historical and cultural notes on places of particular interest; and a final section on accommodation, associations, etc.

This guide will help the pilgrim to make his journey safely and in the true spirit of the pilgrimage. The size and ease of handling of this volume are also considered to be improvements over the author's earlier guides, and incorporate the suggestions made by pilgrims since 1985.

The discovery of the tomb of the apostle St James was one of the most important events of the Middle Ages. The great pilgrimages to Compostela brought together, and had a vital influence on, a number of different aspects of society: art, religion, and economic and cultural life. The influence of the pilgrimage was not confined to a specific period; it went beyond the boundaries of the Middle Ages, extending its vitality into succeeding centuries.

The pilgrimage to Compostela is the great legacy of medieval Christianity, left to us by a Europe composed of diverse populations, united by the common principles of faith and devotion. The phenomenon of the pilgrimage to "Finis Terrae", "the World's End", and to the tomb of the apostle St James, grew spontaneously from the grass roots; from the common folk who, disregarding social distinction or national borders, did much to further unity and fraternity among peoples.

Compostela was transformed to become, together with Rome and Jerusalem, one of the three great centres of pilgrimage of the Christian world. Rome itself witnessed with some misgivings of the height reached by the see of Compostela as its ascendancy grew, due to the increase in pilgrimages. The ambassador of the Moorish sultan Ah ben Yusuf wrote "The multitude of those going -to Santiago- and returning is so great that there is scarcely any room on the westward road..." Who Went on Pilgrimage? Gotescalco, bishop of Le Pay, is one of the earliest pilgrims of whom we have any record. He went to Compostela in the year 950, at the head of a vast retinue. Cesareo, abbot of Montserrat, made the pilgrimage in 959. Tn 1065 a large group of pilgrims from Lieige reached Compostela. The Count of Guines and the bishop of Lille were pilgrims to Compostela in 1084.

In the 11th century the number of pilgrims increased very markedly, drawn without distinction from all classes of European society. In 1072 Alfonso VI abolished the toll payable to the castle of Auctares, situated near the point where the Camino entered Galicia, and made over the money in favour of the pilgrims who went to Compostela, from Spain, France, Italy and Germany". The 12th century marked the height of the pilgrimages. Pope Calixtus II was himself a great supporter. The French priest from Poitou, Aymeric Picaud, has left us the valuable account of his pilgrimage to Compostela in the form of a collection of documents relating to St James, which he, for the glory of the apostle, attributed to Pope Calixtus II. It is for this reason that the collection is known as the "Codex Calixtinus". Among the vast number of pilgrims we frequently find distinguished travellers: bishops, kings, magnates, the rich and the saints. St Francis of Assisi himself made his pilgrimage.

Among the pilgrims were those who began their journeys out of real devotion, others who went as the delegates of cities, towns or individuals, and neither was there any lack of those who took the Way of St James in the fulfilment of a judicial punishment. How They Made the Journey Pilgrims generally travelled in-groups for mutual protection. Gathering at the departure point -ArIes, Le Pay, Vezelay, Paris, etc- they made their farewell to the town with a solemn act of devotion, receiving, blessed, the attributes or tokens of pilgrimage: broad hats to protect them from the sun, the cloak to counter cold and rain, the satchel for food, the gourd for water and the staff for defence and support over rough ground. The scallop shell, which the pilgrims wore soon, became the symbol of the Jacobean pilgrimage. Holy Years The privilege of the Compostelan Holy Year dates from the papacy of Calixtus II, the great devotee of St James. Holy Years occur when the feast day of the apostle -25 July- falls on a Sunday.

The Compostela Those who claimed to be true pilgrims, and could prove that they were not rascals or vagabonds, were permitted to stay at the great pilgrim Hospital de Los Reyes Catolicos (the hospital of the Catholic Monarchs, built by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella in 1496) This tradition still exists. If you want to re-enact it, you should carry the "pilgrim passport" or any other document showing the signatures or stamps of parishes, municipalities or monasteries to prove the distance you have covered. When you arrive in Santiago, go to the office of the Secretary of the Cathedral. When he has verified your pilgrim passport, he will give you your 'Compostela", or certificate of pilgrimage, and any advice or help you may need. The Routes to Compostela True pilgrims have always followed the routes leading to two points of entry via the Roman roads through the western Pyrexes: the route of the Port de CIE (Ibaneta), which gave access to the major route from Bordeaux to Astorga, or the Somport route, which linked Bordeaux and Dax with Jaca and Zaragoza.

In the early years of the pilgrimage, the Camino underwent various modifications. The retreat of the Arab invaders and the formation of several new kingdoms contributed to this. Sancho the Great in Navarre (995-1035), Alfonso VI in Castile and Leon (1065-I lt)9) and Sancho Ramirez in Navarre and Aragon (1076-1094) helped to determine for once and for all the pilgrims' route to Compostela. Aymeric Picaud made his pilgrimage along the -by then- well-defined route early in the 12th century, leaving us his guidebook to the most interesting stages on the historic road. a) The Routes through France The cities of Arles, El Pea, Vezelay and Paris or Orleans were the points of departure for the Jacobean routes through France. Pilgrims who followed the route from Arles via Toulouse and Oloron crossed the Pyrenees by way of the Somport Pass. The other three routes joined at a point close to Ostabat on the edge of the French Pyrenees, and ascended to the Cize Pass.

The Routes through Spain Aymeric Picaud described the two main access routes to Spain, via the passes of Somport and Cize. The book with maps. Shows the different itineraries which pilgrims have taken for more than a thousand years, to venerate the Apostle. The most famous of all these routes is that followed and described by Picaud, the cleric from Parthenay-le-Vieux, who after his pilgrimage wrote the exceptionally interesting five-volume work completed in about 1139, and which received the name of Codex Calixtinus". The fifth book, the Liber Sancti Jacobi" or "Book of St James", It is one with most relevance to us. It outlines the stages on the Camino with a valuable topographical summary, mentions pilgrim hospitals and places of refuge and assistance, describes the quality of the food and water encountered, and remarks sometimes less than charitably- on the characteristics of the people through whose lands the author passed.


University of Texas and El Camino de Santiago connection

Another fellow Longhorn who did the same camino as I ( I just did about 12km more) and also didn't go to her graduation.

According to El Correo Gallego, Jenna Bush will be arriving in Santiago de Compostela on Thursday after a 5 day pilgrimage. She has already made dinner reservations in old town.

Written by Ivar Rekve,
[Published: Friday, May 28, 2004]
The five stages that Jenna Bush will be covering will be:

Day 1, Sarria - Portomarᅢᆳn
Day 2, Portomarᅢᆳn - Palas de Rei
Day 3, Palas de Rei - Arzᅢᄎa
Day 4, Arzᅢᄎa - O Pino
Day 5, O Pino - Santiago de Compostela.

She is expected to arrive in Santiago de Compostela on Thursday June 3rd. It is reported that she will be staying in Paradores (see link below) and in ᅡモCasas Ruralesᅡヤ on the way here.

According to El Correo Gallego a restaurant in old town Santiago de Compostela has received a reservation for 6, which includes Jenna Bush. The reservation was made about two days ago.

Jenna Bush has just graduated from University of Texas with an English degree (graduation 22nd of May). She did not attend her own graduation, which created some buzz in the US (see Google News Link below).